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Police chief explains why Catherine Andrews wasn’t breath tested after 2013 crash

Victoria’s police chief commissioner Graham Ashton says a simple mix-up at the scene of the crash involving Premier Daniel Andrews’ wife was the reason why she wasn’t breath tested.

Speaking with Neil Mitchell, he said it was a frantic scene as the two police officers attended to the badly injured teenage cyclist involved in the crash at Blairgowrie.

He said while it was “highly unusual” a breath test wasn’t conducted as per police protocol.

“One thought one had done it and the other though the other had done it,” he said.

Mr Ashton said they were given workplace guidance after the incident but it wasn’t a “hanging offence”.

In a press conference this morning, Premier Andrews addressed speculation surrounding the crash.

Premier Andrews said one of the police officers contacted them in the days after to apologise for not conducting a breath test.

In his interview this morning, Mr Ashton explained the Freedom of Information documents relating to Catherine Andrews’ car crash in 2013 were knocked back on privacy grounds.

Police rejected an FOI request for the full report into what happened.

The state’s anti corruption watchdog has asked for the files related to the incident.

“In this case it was knocked back on privacy grounds because it involved private information of a range of people involved in the matter,” he said.

“The decision taken on the people requested it, the media outlet, weren’t the people involved, and it would have been releasing private information to them.”

In a statement, IBAC said the investigation related to police conduct.

“IBAC is expecting a police investigation file relating to the conduct of police officers at the scene of a traffic accident involving the then Opposition Leader and his family in January 2013,” the statement read.

“IBAC will be reviewing the file in accordance with standard practice. IBAC is not investigating the incident or the conduct of the Premier, Mr Andrews or any member of his family.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview on 3AW Mornings

 

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